JIB-BCG Digital Demonstrator Brings Industry 4.0 Tech to Biopharma Operations

Boston Consulting Group and the Jefferson Institute for Bioprocessing Launch New Center to Showcase How New Digital Technologies Can Unlock Value Across Biopharma Manufacturing and Supply Chains

PHILADELPHIA—Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and Thomas Jefferson University’s Institute for Bioprocessing (JIB) today launched the Digital Demonstrator for Innovation, a digitally immersive experience that helps executives understand how Industry 4.0 technologies can drive value throughout biopharma operations. The center will showcase key Industry 4.0 technologies including digital simulation, industrial Internet of Things, advanced analytics, and augmented reality.

Biopharma manufacturing is increasingly complex, globalized, and regulated—challenges that present an opportunity for the sector to optimize operations to increase quality and supply performance while reducing cost to the patient. The JIB-BCG Digital Demonstrator enables executives to experience firsthand how Industry 4.0 technologies can help with these optimization efforts, specifically in biopharma manufacturing and supply chains.

The Digital Demonstrator is a physical location offering executives virtual and video tours through four suites, each demonstrating how Industry 4.0 technology can improve specific biopharma operations.

  • Evolved Manufacturing demonstrates technical and behavioral training delivered via virtual reality, as well as the use of big data analytics and augmented reality (AR) process development, automation, control, monitoring, and remote maintenance.
  • QC Lab of the Future features RFID sample identification, AR-guided QC testing, and dynamic smart scheduling.
  • QA Center of Excellence showcases the application of Industry 4.0 virtual technologies to process mining and optimization, robotic process optimization, and scheduling and time management.
  • Training Excellence enables executives to experience technical and behavioral training delivered through virtual reality.

“We believe that the maturity of the technology and the current state of the biopharma manufacturing industry have converged to create a unique opportunity to apply Industry 4.0 technologies to this sector,” says Paul Poduri, a BCG managing director and partner. “Implementation of these emerging technologies, particularly when combined with lean methodologies, could lead to significant improvements in biopharma manufacturing productivity.”

Maturing Industry 4.0 Technologies Transform Training and Manufacturing

The Jefferson Institute for Bioprocessing is the first—and only—North American center to provide specialized education and training for biopharmaceutical processing. The institute combines commercial single-use processing equipment with the internationally recognized National Institute for Bioprocessing Research and Training (NIBRT) curriculum.

Parviz Shamlou, JIB executive director, notes that the Industry 4.0 technologies are transforming industrial production in many industries, and can do the same for biopharma. “Simulation leverages real-time data to mirror the physical world in a virtual model that can include machines, products, and people. Advances in industrial IoT mean that devices—even unfinished products—can be enriched with embedded computing. Combined with advanced analytics and augmented reality based systems, these and other Industry 4.0 technologies have the capacity to transform biopharma manufacturing operations in the United States and the world.”

For more information about the JIB-BCG Digital Demonstrator, please contact Eric Gregoire at
+1 617 850 3783 or gregoire.eric@bcg.com.

About Thomas Jefferson University

Thomas Jefferson University is a leader in interdisciplinary, professional education. Jefferson, home of the Sidney Kimmel Medical College and the Kanbar College of Design, Engineering and Commerce, is a preeminent university delivering high-impact education in 160 undergraduate and graduate programs to 8,100 students in architecture, business, design, engineering, fashion and textiles, health, science, and social science. The new Jefferson is redefining the higher education value proposition with an approach that is collaborative and active; increasingly global; integrated with industry; focused on research across disciplines to foster innovation and discovery; and technology enhanced. Student-athletes compete as the Jefferson Rams in the NCAA Division II Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference.

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